Monday, December 10, 2012
BY ELISE STOLTE
Law Courts in Edmonton Photograph by: Candace Elliott , edmontonjournal.com
EDMONTON - A Court of Queen’s Bench judge threw out the testimony of an accused murderer Monday, saying he lied so many times to police and friends, he couldn’t be believed.
But she accepted the testimony of a second youth, a convicted murderer himself, and found 22-year-old Mahamed Ali Abdulle guilty of second-degree murder in the September 2010 beating death of Emmanuel Amoah.
His sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 4.
Abdulle was also found guilty of offering an indignity to a body for helping to move and hide Amoah’s body under a pile of grass and leaves on the south edge of Edmonton, where a passerby found it 13 days later.
Outside the courtroom, Abdulle’s father left the side of his weeping mother to speak with the media.
“We are shocked,” said Ali Farah, who moved from Somalia to Canada with 10 children in 1995. Abdulle graduated from the Centre High campus of Edmonton Public Schools, and had applied to NAIT, said his father.
“Today, we are very sad. ... He’s a good boy,” Farah said, expressing sorrow also for the family on the deceased.
The court heard Abdulle was with a group of young men who robbed a house after the first day of school, Sept. 1, 2010, and then headed to the outskirts of town to do some target practice.
Two of the young men had guns, including the victim, and they shot at several trees in a wooded area near 17th Street and Ellerslie Road.
Abdulle testified that he stood back and watched as one youth, who can’t be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, convinced the victim to give up his gun. He then shot at the victim’s face and missed, then beat him with the back of the gun and strangled him.
But a second youth said Abdulle did not stand back. The youth testified both he and Abdulle helped hold Amoah down. He said Abdulle held down Amoah’s legs as he struggled to get away, and helped move the body.
The decision came down to which, if either, of the two young men to believe, said Justice Beverley Browne.
“Abdulle has lied many, many times during the course of the investigation,” she said. He lied to police and he tried to implicate others, and he lied to his friends when they asked when he had last seen Amoah.
He was insincere in court, as well, she said. In recorded transcripts, Abdulle sounds aggressive and loud, talking like a gangster. In court, he was so quiet he had to be told to speak up several times. When he talked about the death, it was in the same tone as he talked about everything else.
“No emotion in his words, and no sincerity,” said Browne, adding she had hoped to hear some remorse.
“Mr. Abdulle has little credibility,” she said. “I do not believe and I specifically reject the evidence of the accused.”
As for the youth who testified, he had nothing to gain or lose by his testimony. “I’m satisfied he’s making every effort to tell the truth,” said Browne.
But Browne did not find Abdulle guilty of the first-degree murder charge.
The prosecution used recorded telephone conversations to argue the murder was in retaliation for a previous robbery against Abdulle. Prosecutor Melanie Hayes-Richards said the tapes show Abdulle planned the murder, by convincing Amoah that he did not blame him for the theft.
But Browne said she spent many hours going through the records, some of which were in Somali. They were so full of contradictions and bravado, nothing could be believed.
She found him guilty of second-degree murder instead.
Abdulle said nothing throughout the proceedings. He is already serving time for manslaughter in the death of 23-year-old Jesse Lee James, killed four days after Amoah.